Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lays of Ancient Rome - 30

Horatius at the Bridge
by Thomas B. Macaulay


"Oh, Tiber! Father Tiber!
To whom the Romans pray,
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms,
Take thou in charge this day!"
So he spake, and speaking sheathed
The good sword by his side,
And with his harness on his back,
Plunged headlong in the tide.


No sound of joy or sorrow
Was heard from either bank;
But friends and foes in dumb surprise,
With parted lips and straining eyes,
Stood gazing where he sank;
And when above the surges,
They saw his crest appear,
All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry,
And even the ranks of Tuscany
Could scarce forbear to cheer.

Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from the great Arab book Thousand and One Nights.

More About This Book

This poem celebrates one of the great heroic legends of history. Horatius saves Rome from the Etruscan invaders in 642 BC. Scottish poet Macaulay published this in 1842.

Illustration: Horatius at the Bridge from the first edition.

More information here:
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